Dating of rock art in southern america
On closer examination you might be able to see a painted design accompanying the pecked image.
Examples of both types of rock art are found along the sites described in this guide. The patterns and motifs may be similar, but are never quite the same.
Pictographs and petroglyphs represent the two main techniques used to make rock art.
Pictographs are made through an additive process, where they are applied to the rock surface, and include paintings, charcoal drawings, stencils, prints.
The Southern region of Africa is known for its rich and detailed collection of rock art left by ancient hunters and gathers, but as much as these creations are well-understood, their exact dates are not.
Discovered in Botswana, researchers were able to grab and analyse fragments of the ancient artwork – which includes depictions of scenes involving fish and human figures drawn on the walls of a naturally occurring rock shelter.
By collecting samples of paint, researchers were able to identify the types of carbons in the pigments and ultimately date them as more than 5,000 years old – deeming the drawings the "earliest directly dated" paintings in the region, according to the Daily Mail.
It is difficult to know when the sites in these particular images were created, because currently there are few techniques for dating rock art.
Generally speaking, rock paintings in unprotected environments (like boulder faces) are thought to be less than 500 years old because they are exposed to wind and rain.
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The aboriginal peoples who created this artwork have a very long history in the region.